This creamy pesto pasta vegan casserole is pure comfort food! It’s super simple to assemble, it’s ready in 30 minutes, and it’s loaded with delicious pesto flavor that everyone will gobble up! Vegan.
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Pasta is my weakness and it’s always my vegan comfort food of choice. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always gone straight for the noodles. My mom will tell you, I always wanted mac n cheese, spaghetti, parmesan noodles or just a bowl of plain ol’ noodles. I never get tired of pasta, I loved it then and I still love it now.
I probably make this hearty vegan casserole way too often but it’s just so quick, easy, and delicious. My most favorite vegan pasta dish is a big bowl of noodles topped with the easiest and creamiest vegan alfredo sauce. I especially love it because I can make the alfredo sauce in the blender in just a few minutes! At any moment, I’m only 15 minutes away from a big cozy bowl of hot noodles with vegan alfredo sauce.
Since I’ve made the vegan alfredo sauce at least 3,897,324 times in the last few months, I thought that I should share some of the other ways that I use this sauce. I love to mix it with pesto to make a super flavorful and creamy vegan pasta bake.
This pesto pasta casserole is a truly delicious meal. It comes together quickly and easily, and I promise you, the whole family will love it. Serve it with a salad or a side of roasted vegetables and you just knocked dinner out of the park.
How To Make a Vegan Casserole
Begin by putting the raw cashews into a small pot, cover them with water, and then bring it to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain the water and pour the cashews into a high-speed blender. Start cooking your noodles now while you assemble the vegan alfredo sauce. Add unsweetened coconut milk, nutritional yeast, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to the blender. Blend the mixture on high until it turns into a smooth and creamy sauce.
Step #1 – Drain the cooked noodles and then pour them into a large 9×13 casserole dish. If you want to add any vegetables in (like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, or mushrooms) now is the time to do that. Pour the vegan alfredo sauce over the noodles and mix it to coat each noodle.
Step #2 – If you don’t use a store-bought vegan pesto sauce, you’ll need to make your own now.
Step #3 – Put big dollops of the pesto all over the noodles and then mix it in a little bit but don’t completely coat each noodle as you did with the alfredo sauce. Try to smooth the pesto over the top layer of the vegan casserole.
Step #4 – Spread the diced tomato evenly over the casserole.
Step #5 – Top the vegan casserole with grated vegan parmesan cheese, (I used Violife Parmesan wedge). Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes.
Step #6 – Remove the casserole from the oven and then top it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving it.
How to Make Vegan Pesto
For this vegan pasta casserole, I used a store-bought vegan organic pesto sauce that I bought at Sprout’s (not sponsored, I just really like it). It’s just convenient to use a shortcut like pre-made pesto but feel free to make your own if you wish. This is my go-to vegan pesto recipe if you need inspiration.
Can Vegans Eat Pasta?
Yes, vegans can safely eat pasta (thank God!!) as long as it doesn’t contain eggs. I still haven’t found an egg noodle replacement but there are tons of vegan pasta brands that you can enjoy! My favorite vegan pasta is the organic Garofalo pasta from Costco, it has the best chewy texture! (Here’s my list of the best vegan Costco products that you have to try!)
What Type of Pasta Should You Use For This Casserole?
I prefer to use smaller noodles like penne, rotini, fusilli, rigatoni, ziti, or cavatappi because they’re easier to scoop out of the casserole dish. If you use spaghetti or linguini, the noodles will be difficult to scoop out. You’ll have to cut through the noodles to scoop them out like a slice from the casserole dish. I think that the smaller noodles just make a better presentation. For this recipe, I used penne noodles.
Tips For Making The Best Vegan Pasta Casserole
- Use a smaller type of noodle to make it easier to serve and for a prettier presentation.
- Don’t skip the vegan parmesan! You can make it yourself or use store-bought (I love Violife) but either way it adds texture and flavor to the casserole.
- You can use store-bought or homemade vegan pesto (I used Sprout’s vegan pesto), it won’t impact the taste of the casserole.
- Don’t skip the fresh lemon juice at the end, it gives it such a delicious flavor boost!
- I know that it’s tempting to increase the oven temperature so it will cook quicker but please don’t! If you bake the casserole at too high a temperature, the top of the noodles with get crispy and the casserole will be dry.
- Add water or unsweetened soy milk to the pan when reheating leftovers to help loosen up the sauce.
- If you’d like to make this vegan casserole gluten-free, these chickpea noodles and these quinoa noodles are what I use. They taste great and they don’t turn to mush when you cook them.
More Vegan Casserole Recipes You’ll Love
If you tried this easy vegan casserole, please remember to post a picture of it on Instagram and tag me so I can see your beautiful creation! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious vegan recipes.
Vegan Pesto Pasta Casserole
- 16 oz penne pasta
Vegan Alfredo Sauce -
Pesto Pasta Casserole -
- 3/4 cup vegan pesto (I used a 6.7 ounce bottle of Sprout's Organic Vegan Pesto)
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup grated vegan parmesan cheese (I used Violife parmesan cheese)
- 1/2 large lemon
- Here's the recipe for the vegan alfredo sauce. ***Note - The vegan alfredo recipe calls for 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk but I added an additional 1/2 cup to the sauce because baking the pasta tends to dry it out a little bit. The extra 1/2 cup of liquid helps to keep it creamy.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil the pasta noodles in a large pot. While the noodles are cooking, make the vegan alfredo sauce.
- Drain the noodles, and pour them into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Pour the alfredo sauce over the noodles and mix it well so the sauce coats each noodle. Evenly spoon the pesto sauce in dollops over the noodles and spread it over the top of the casserole.
- Add the diced tomatoes and top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until it's hot all the way through. Remove the casserole from the oven and squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the top. Add a sprinkle of black pepper and more parmesan cheese if you'd like.
- Penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, ziti, elbows, or gemelli noodles are all good options for this vegan casserole.
- You can use a store-bought or homemade vegan pesto, either will work fine.
- Feel free to add vegetables to the casserole: broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, peas, or cauliflower would be delicious additions.